One Synthesist Summoner Thread to rule them all


Rules Questions

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Cartigan wrote:
Ral' Yareth wrote:


Bad in this case is only an opinion.

So claimed, but it is in fact demonstrable. The Synthesist's Eidolon replaces the Summoner's physical stats whenever fused. That mechanic was the reason the polymorph subschool was COMPLETELY overhauled. Are you telling me reinstituting a mechanic they obviously spent a good deal of time and effort on reworking is not bad design?

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I understand that you don't like the archetype as it is, but honestly with all the explanations given so far, it works well.

No, it really doesn't.

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@ Cirno, Cartigan, Seraphimpunk and Ravingdork: What would you personally change in the synthesist if you were the sole person responsible for "fixing it"?

I already did.

Add "Remove the ruling that a Synthesist with an Eidolon without the hands evolution can't cast spells."

"A Synthesist's Eidolon provides DR equal to the amount of hit points it has when an attack is made"? What was your intention here? If a 6th level synthesist summoner has an eidolon with 40 hp (for argument sake), the DR in question would be 40/-?

About the polymorph mechanic: I don't think its a fair comparison. The need to change the spell (IMO) was due to the fact that it got stronger every time a new monster was published. After a while it became easily exploitable. I really don't think its the same situation with the synthesist, unless the guys at paizo are planning to release 5+ more books of eidolon options.

Yes, it allows you to dump your physical stats, but banishment/dismissal pretty much screws you in that case.

Edit: Also, isn't the point of having somatic components to make you use your arms? Isn't the lack of arms one of the drawbacks of the serpentine form? How is it unfair that a synthesit would need to take the limbs evolution (or the still spell) in order to cast while fused with an eidolon of that type?


Ral' Yareth wrote:


"A Synthesist's Eidolon provides DR equal to the amount of hit points it has when an attack is made"? What was your intention here? If a 6th level synthesist summoner has an eidolon with 40 hp (for argument sake), the DR in question would be 40/-?

As far as I can read, yes that is what he means.

Next turn he has left DR 40/- minus the amount dealt prevuously.
So 1st attack dealing 25 lowers DR from DR 40/- to DR 15/-.


Ral' Yareth wrote:
What was your intention here? If a 6th level synthesist summoner has an eidolon with 40 hp (for argument sake), the DR in question would be 40/-?

Yes, that's exactly what I meant.

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About the polymorph mechanic: I don't think its a fair comparison. The need to change the spell (IMO) was due to the fact that it got stronger every time a new monster was published. After a while it became easily exploitable. I really don't think its the same situation with the synthesist, unless the guys at paizo are planning to release 5+ more books of eidolon options.

Seriously? The ability to be able to dump your physical stats was a huge part of why Polymorph was unbalanced.

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Yes, it allows you to dump your physical stats, but banishment/dismissal pretty much screws you in that case.

As did Disjunction or Dispel Magic. That TOTALLY made Polymorph balanced, right?

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How is it unfair that a synthesit would need to take the limbs evolution (or the still spell) in order to cast while fused with an eidolon of that type?

Because it's a class tax. To play the archetype, you have to play a biped or pay the tax to get arms. That's in addition to all the other nerfs the Synthesist presents over the normal Summoner.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
ProfessorCirno wrote:

I've yet to see these phantom people who both a) love the Synthesist archtype and b) tots support your rulings.

In fact, it seems people who liked - past tense - the class are rather irate!

I'm one of those "phantom people," and I'm not sure how myself and others on this thread who are exceptions to this comment suddenly found themselves invisible. You'll see upthread other players actively playing this class (and another, Ral'Yareth, above) that don't have the problems that the rest of you armchair critics seem to have.

I said it before here and I'll say it again: I've played a synthesist from 1-6 level, RAW, by-the-book with no house rules, and besides a small hiccup over healing the eidolon's temporary hitpoints (where my GM and I made the same obvious call that the FAQ reiterated), I haven't had problem, have quite enjoyed it, and I thought the clarifications on the FAQ made sense. There was one call I took exception with regarding enlarge person, and that was changed, so there you go.

It really is crazy when you sit down and actually play the class that you just don't have all of these extraordinary problems that you can sit behind your keyboard and theorize and agonize over all day. I understand folks like Seraphimpunk wanting to be prepared for upcoming PFS players who might try some exploits, and while Cartigan's complaints on the de-evolution of rules applications compared to the Pathfinder polymorph rewrites is a valid observation on design philosophy, I suppose, a player can still safely roll up a synthesist totally ignorant of Pathfinder's polymorph design shift and have a ball, without problems, and without getting irate. It WORKS FOR THIS CLASS. You don't have to know or care about the design philosophy of polymorph to have a valid, playable character, and the pocket rules for this class don't have to have wide-ranging, sweeping rules implications as a result, either. They are the rules for the class. That's it. As for some of those weird "Con drop" problems outlined above? Well, I'd suggest not painting your PC into a corner by giving him a higher Con than his eidolon.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Synthesist bonus hit points as damage reduction? Yeeuck!


Ravingdork wrote:
Synthesist bonus hit points as damage reduction? Yeeuck!

It's the exact same effect as temp HP.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
I've yet to see these phantom people who both a) love the Synthesist archtype and b) tots support your rulings.

Just like Hodge, I'm one of those Phantom People. I may not like some of the rulings, but then again I don't like the fact your eidolon goes away when you fall asleep. That doesn't mean I don't like it anyway.

Cartigan wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Synthesist bonus hit points as damage reduction? Yeeuck!
It's the exact same effect as temp HP.

If it works just like DR, does that mean if two Synthesists fight their natural weapons bypass it?


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cartigan wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Synthesist bonus hit points as damage reduction? Yeeuck!
It's the exact same effect as temp HP.

Only ten times more confusing! (Just see the above questions about how it interacts with spells for an example of the confusion.)


Ravingdork wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Synthesist bonus hit points as damage reduction? Yeeuck!
It's the exact same effect as temp HP.
Only ten times more confusing! (Just see the above questions about how it interacts with spells for an example of the confusion.)

I've never heard anyone claim Stoneskin was confusing. Or that temp HP was confusing.

In fact, it's identical to temp HP. Describing temp HP in precise terminology results in exactly what I described. Any damage done to you is reduced from your temp HP first, your temp HP is reduced by the damage done, any excess is done to you. That is exactly what I described as how the Synthesist Eidolon should work, but without the cop out and rules issues of it being temp HP.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Except stoneskin doesn't protect you from the vast majority of spells. Temp HP do.

Also, it's not like stoneskin. Stoneskin give you DR 10 and a limit of (I think) 150.

You are talking about a decreasing DR (I believe the example of 40 was used).

Why mix subsystems? Just pick one.


Cartigan wrote:
Yes, that's exactly what I meant.

In that case,

I don't think you fix is bad, in fact it seems pretty usable. Personally I wouldn't go for it though; it is sort of a a nerf. I thought you were defending that the synthesist was already suboptimal in comparison to the regular summoner.

Edit: Also I don't like the fact that it makes exception to abilities that bypass damage reductions. It's an exception instances that are already exceptional.

Cartigan wrote:


Seriously? The ability to be able to dump your physical stats was a huge part of why Polymorph was unbalanced.

Indeed it was, but only in the context I mentioned. We had a huge pool of monster from which we could draw. Some of them were clearly a lot stronger than others. The more monsters were published, the larger the problem became.

That was bad design because in order to maintain the game balanced, all monsters stats would had to take the polymorph rules into consideration (which wasn't the case).

You don't have nearly as much problem regarding the number of eidolon options.

Cartigan wrote:
That TOTALLY made Polymorph balanced, right?

Same as above

Cartigan wrote:

Because it's a class tax. To play the archetype, you have to play a biped or pay the tax to get arms. That's in addition to all the other nerfs the Synthesist presents over the normal Summoner.

Its not a class tax, is a drawback the shape has. IMO, its only fair that if you'd like to have the serpentine form with all its advantages you'd have to pay the evolution points (or take metamagic feats) in order to overcome its drawbacks.

Obviously in the context of this archetype humanoid is optimal. That is fine, since archetypes are in a lot of cases specialized versions of the original class.

Edit: I have a player a playing a synthesist in my game. He is level seven. I'll ask him what he thinks of you suggestion. I believe he will consider it a nerf.


Ral' Yareth wrote:

I don't think you fix is bad, in fact it seems pretty usable. Personally I wouldn't go for it though; it is a a nerf. I thought you were defending that the synthesist was already suboptimal in comparison to the regular summoner.

You failed to explain how it was a nerf. The only possible way is it doesn't protect against spells. But really, it should be neither DR nor temp HP. It should just act like both. The Eidolon should have his own hit point pool which takes damage first. Just like temp HP but without the nerf of it ACTUALLY BEING temp HP.

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Indeed it was, but only in the context I mentioned. We had a huge pool of monster from which we could draw. Some of them were clearly a lot stronger than others. The more monsters were published, the larger the problem became.

That was bad design because in order to maintain the game balanced, all monsters stats would had to take the polymorph rules into consideration (which wasn't the case).

You don't have nearly as much problem regarding the number of eidolon options.

What? You can still dump physical stats and get stats from your Eidolon better even than a Dragon Disciple. You can get even more than polymorph - magical resistances, supernatural powers, spell-like abilities, multiple attacks, significantly better defenses. It's more powerful than base Polymorph ever was.

Cartigan wrote:
That TOTALLY made Polymorph balanced, right?

Same as above

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Its not a class tax, is a drawback the shape has. IMO, its only fair that if you'd like to have the serpentine form with all its advantages you'd have to pay the evolution points (or take metamagic feats) in order to overcome its drawbacks.

The biped was already the most powerful form and the serpentine the least. But the reason it was is nerfed in the Synthesist - but not in the Summoner. The Synthesist is just a terrible class compared to a base Summoner.


Cartigan wrote:


You failed to explain how it was a nerf.

"The only possible way is it doesn't protect against spells."

I thought it was easily inferred, sorry (no sarcasm).

Cartigan wrote:
You can get even more than polymorph - magical resistances, supernatural powers, spell-like abilities, multiple attacks, significantly better defenses.

In a pre-defined way, with costs associated to all the abilities you mentioned. Its better than choose the "right" monster have 5+ attacks, high ability scores, high natural armor and several special attacks. Choose the "wrong" one and get nothing worth your time.

Cartigan wrote:


The biped was already the most powerful form and the serpentine the least. But the reason it was is nerfed in the Synthesist - but not in the Summoner. The Synthesist is just a terrible class compared to a base Summoner.

Debatable. I would agree that under the most common circumstances the biped with humanoid features was the most easy to use.


Instead of using Stoneskin as the example spell, it seems more appropriate to use Protection from Energy as the example of a pool of a buffer which is removed by damage before hurting the summoner's HP.


Caedwyr wrote:
Instead of using Stoneskin as the example spell, it seems more appropriate to use Protection from Energy as the example of a pool of a buffer which is removed by damage before hurting the summoner's HP.

How do you propose that buffer get spent?


Ral' Yareth wrote:


In a pre-defined way, with costs associated to all the abilities you mentioned. Its better than choose the "right" monster have 5+ attacks, high ability scores, high natural armor and several special attacks. Choose the "wrong" one and get nothing worht your time.

That's exactly how the Synthesist works.


Cartigan wrote:
Ral' Yareth wrote:


In a pre-defined way, with costs associated to all the abilities you mentioned. Its better than choose the "right" monster have 5+ attacks, high ability scores, high natural armor and several special attacks. Choose the "wrong" one and get nothing worht your time.

That's exactly how the Synthesist works.

You still have to pay the costs in evolution points for special abilities. In fact, one of your complains is that you have to buy limbs in order to cast spells as a synthesist with a serpentine or quadruped forms. So you want one of the exotic forms + one of the advantages of being biped.

Edit: There is a "wrong" form to the synthesist, but to me that is not a problem, because thematically the archetype gives you a "battlesuit". Since players play as humanoids, it makes sense to me that the easiest way to "suit" a PC is to wear a biped shape.

That's why I consider the archetype specialized, as I said above. The same way a two weapon warrior is a specialized fighter and is not as efficient with a ranseur as the polearm master.
Saying there is a tax class to play a synthesyst with a serpent eidolon, is like saying there is a class tax to play with a two weapon warrior that tries to focus on archery or polearms.

In other words: because you wear your eidolon, it makes sense that in the context of this archetype, having it have hands is advantageous.


Ral' Yareth wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Ral' Yareth wrote:


In a pre-defined way, with costs associated to all the abilities you mentioned. Its better than choose the "right" monster have 5+ attacks, high ability scores, high natural armor and several special attacks. Choose the "wrong" one and get nothing worht your time.

That's exactly how the Synthesist works.

You still have to pay the costs in evolution points for special abilities. In fact, one of your complains is that you have to buy limbs in order to cast spells as a synthesist with a serpentine or quadruped forms. So you want one of the exotic forms + one of the advantages of being biped.

Edit: There is a "wrong" form to the synthesist, but to me that is not a problem, because thematically the archetype gives you a "battlesuit". Since players play as humanoids, it makes sense to me that the easiest way to "suit" a PC is to wear a biped shape.

That's why I consider the archetype specialized, as I said above. The same way a two weapon warrior is a specialized fighter and is not as efficient with a ranseur as the polearm master.

In other words: because you wear your eidolon, it makes sense that in the context of this archetype, having it have hands is advantageous.

I'd speculate there are a number of people who see the direction the Paizo crew has gone with, disagree and will ignore the FAQ and/or change the archtype to make it "usable" at their own table. They have made it plain what they want it to be officially, and it is a mixed bag to say the least. Given that, why be vocal about it on the boards? It is obviously not going to get changed (yet again) at this point, it is also obvious there were probably multiple people with a disconnect when the archtype was written and published. Take the idea and run with it how you want at your table, we have RAW now and that is what this forum is for.

As for the no casting... a class ability that negates another major class ability, is bad design. Period. There is a feat for the druid, there should be one for the synthesist. I'm okay with a "tax", being strong armed into making my quad "battlesuit" have arms for no other reason than to cast is the publisher being either lazy or ignorant. Publish a free feat online in a blog or something if it is that much of an issue to put in a future book because of space. It really is that simple.


Skylancer4 wrote:
I'd speculate there are a number of people who see the direction the Paizo crew has gone with, disagree and will ignore the FAQ and/or change the archtype to make it "usable" at their own table. They have made it plain what they want it to be officially, and it is a mixed bag to say the least. Given that, why be vocal about it on the boards? It is obviously not going to get changed (yet again) at this point, it is also obvious there were probably multiple people with a disconnect when the archtype was written and published. Take the idea and run with it how you want at your table, we have RAW now and that is what this forum is for.

I agree. If you are unhappy with the official rules nothing stops you from running it differently at your table. I understand the desire to let the designers know what you like/don't like so they can take that into in consideration in the future, but I'm not really fond of the "torches and pitchforks" attitude.

Skylancer4 wrote:

As for the no casting... a class ability that negates another major class ability, is bad design. Period. There is a feat for the druid, there should be one for the synthesist. I'm okay with a "tax", being strong armed into making my quad "battlesuit" have arms for no other reason than to cast is the Publish a free feat online in a blog or something if it is that much of an issue to put in a future book because of space. It really is that simple.

I would not mind a feat, but honestly there is no need for it really. We already have two mechanical ways for casting spells on non-biped forms: evolution points and still spell. Plus, wouldn't having to pick a feat be perceived as a "class tax" as well? Is it really all about those 2 evolution points?

I'm starting to think that people really just want to play "the two weapon warrior fighter archetype who is also as awesome with the bow as the archer fighter archetype ".

I strongly disagree with your statement regarding the publisher being either lazy or ignorant. Its unnecessarily disrespectful to other people's work. If this thread has shown me anything, that thing is that there isn't a consensus on how to "fix" the synthesyst even among those who dislike the new rulings. So please let's be a little more respectful since apparently no one has proposed a better solution yet.

plus wizards/sorcerers/witch/etc can't cast spells while polymorphed into forms that lack arms without using still spell. They have no special natural spell as well.


Ral' Yareth wrote:


plus wizards/sorcerers/witch/etc can't cast spells while polymorphed into forms that lack arms without using still spell. They have no special natural spell as well.

Can you name a form that has no arms that a Wizard might want to become?


Starbuck_II wrote:
Ral' Yareth wrote:


plus wizards/sorcerers/witch/etc can't cast spells while polymorphed into forms that lack arms without using still spell. They have no special natural spell as well.
Can you name a form that has no arms that a Wizard might want to become?

any bird (fly+disguisable+increased AC+low-light vision)

Edit: let me clarify. I understand that morphing is a bigger deal to a synthesist than to the wizard (possible exception to transmuter). I was just pointing that there is precedent to the logic of no arms+ no still spell = no somatic spells


Ral' Yareth wrote:


I would not mind a feat, but honestly there is no need for it really. We already have two mechanical ways for casting spells on non-biped forms: evolution points and still spell.

Still spell is not an option. Unless you want your spells to cast slower and get fewer spells than normal and cast them later than usual.


Ral' Yareth wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
Ral' Yareth wrote:


plus wizards/sorcerers/witch/etc can't cast spells while polymorphed into forms that lack arms without using still spell. They have no special natural spell as well.
Can you name a form that has no arms that a Wizard might want to become?

any bird (fly+disguisable+increased AC+low-light vision)

So, not for combat?


Cartigan wrote:
Ral' Yareth wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
Ral' Yareth wrote:


plus wizards/sorcerers/witch/etc can't cast spells while polymorphed into forms that lack arms without using still spell. They have no special natural spell as well.
Can you name a form that has no arms that a Wizard might want to become?

any bird (fly+disguisable+increased AC+low-light vision)

So, not for combat?

I'm pretty sure all those things would be handy in combat, but that's not really my point. (see above, just edited the post)


Ral' Yareth wrote:
I would not mind a feat, but honestly there is no need for it really. We already have two mechanical ways for casting spells on non-biped forms: evolution points and still spell. Plus having to pick a feat wouldn't be perceived as a "class tax" as well? Is it really all about those 2 evolution points?

In my opinion, no, it's not about those two evo points, it's about the fact that a snake or a shark or an octopus or a levitating jellyfish with hands all look immensely stupid. (It cripples the choice of body forms of your eidolon since only those with hands are viable.)

To me, it's also the same amount of stupid that you can, somehow, use your own hands inside the "suit" to do whatever you want (as you are allowed to use all your equipment, and you have to do that somehow), even to take your spell components out of their pouch (as I don't think the eidolon's hand would reach inside it's own body and into your pockets...), but not to make the gestures required to finish casting.

It's even MORE stupid that a normal summoner can cast spells while using "Merged Forms" with no requirements of hands on the eidolon, while a synthesist who has a thousand times more experience with living and moving inside his eidolon can't.

Really, they should just scrap that hands requirement or at least introduce a feat similar to "Natural Spell". That one exists after all, and why should a summoner have to use metamagic when a druid doesn't have to?

Additionally, I think it's stupid that the Synthesist still has the Summon Monster special ability - he can't use it while when his Eidolon is there, which it will be most of the time because it is his "battle suit". So why keep that ability instead of replacing it with something that makes sense. Like some feats. Like being able to cast in "suit" without hands. (Or like, because I would greatly approve something like that as flavorful, an ability to make your eidolon suit opaque (from the outside, just as described for the "Tiny Hut" spell) - I never really liked that translucency-thing.)

I also think they should drop this temporary HP "the eidolon can't be healed normally" b~$*!+##. Just make them an extra pool of normal HP that get's reduced first, so that they can be healed normally, for simplicity's sake.
Since in fact, as soon as you're level 16, there's nothing stopping you from using "Split Forms" and then healing your now seperate Eidolon with normal Cure spells anyway.
Does it really seem to make sense to anyone that your eidolon can be healed by Cure spells when it's seperated from you, and you can be healed while you're inside the eidolon, but the eidolon around you can't be? C'mon...

I know, there's always the cop out of "If you don't like it, don't play it", but I, for one, really like the idea of the synthesist, and I really want to play one, but I don't do it as long as I think that some of the rules and exceptions for it are... crap going once, crap going twice and nothing more; sold for crap.


Cyberwolf2xs wrote:
To me, it's also the same amount of stupid that you can, somehow, use your own hands inside the "suit" to do whatever you want (as you are allowed to use all your equipment, and you have to do that somehow), even to take your spell components out of their pouch (as I don't think the eidolon's hand would reach inside it's own body and into your pockets...), but not to make the gestures required to finish casting.

I try to imagine it like this: as you and your eidolon fuse, your relevant gear moves to the surface of your "suit" (your eidolon), which makes it readily available to use. Admittedly though that's just the way I imagine it.

Cyberwolf2xs wrote:
In my opinion, no, it's not about those two evo points, it's about the fact that a snake or a shark or an octopus or a levitating jellyfish with hands all look immensely stupid. (It cripples the choice of body forms of your eidolon since only those with hands are viable.)

It cripples you the same way you cripple yourself if you choose to be a spellslinger (gun mage) with no spells that qualify to be shot through his arcane gun. Is that poor design? I don't think so. You are deliberately choosing a path from the main class (a broader concept) that is not optimal to what that archetype (a narrower one) does.


Ral' Yareth wrote:
I try to imagine it like this: as you and your eidolon fuse, your relevant gear moves to the surface of your "suit" (your eidolon), which makes it readily available to use. Admittedly though that's just the way I imagine it.

Wait, I... no. Sorry, but no. I'm not going to imagine a mystical, say, a flying tentacle beast with a spell comp pouch and 50ft of rope slung around its... waist, or better, mid-body section, a magical headband around its... upper section and various other items strapped to its tentacles with some amount of duct tape. ;)

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It cripples you the same way you cripple yourself if you choose to be a spellslinger (gun mage) with no spells that qualify to be shot through his arcane gun. Is that poor design? I don't think so. You are deliberately choosing a path from the main class (a broader concept) that is not optimal to what that archetype (a narrower one) does.

That really is NOT an appropriate comparison.

An appropriate one would be a wildshape-focused druid without the natural spell feat.


Ral' Yareth wrote:


I try to imagine it like this: as you and your eidolon fuse, your relevant gear moves to the surface of your "suit" (your eidolon), which makes it readily available to use. Admittedly though that's just the way I imagine it.

I imagine it as the person inside the creature that could look like ANYTHING still has all their stuff on their person.

Quote:

It cripples you the same way you cripple yourself if you choose to be a spellslinger (gun mage) with no spells that qualify to be shot through his arcane gun. Is that poor design? I don't think so. You are deliberately choosing a path from the main class (a broader concept) that is not optimal to what that archetype (a narrower one) does.

What the hell is a Gun Mage?


Cyberwolf2xs wrote:
Ral' Yareth wrote:
I try to imagine it like this: as you and your eidolon fuse, your relevant gear moves to the surface of your "suit" (your eidolon), which makes it readily available to use. Admittedly though that's just the way I imagine it.

Wait, I... no. Sorry, but no. I'm not going to imagine a mystical, say, a flying tentacle beast with a spell comp pouch and 50ft of rope slung around its... waist, or better, mid-body section, a magical headband around its... upper section and various other items strapped to its tentacles with some amount of duct tape. ;)

Quote:
It cripples you the same way you cripple yourself if you choose to be a spellslinger (gun mage) with no spells that qualify to be shot through his arcane gun. Is that poor design? I don't think so. You are deliberately choosing a path from the main class (a broader concept) that is not optimal to what that archetype (a narrower one) does.

That really is NOT an appropriate comparison.

An appropriate one would be a wildshape-focused druid without the natural spell feat.

I disagree that the comparisons was inappropriate, but I'll use yours:

a wildshape-focused druid without the natural spell feat = a synthesist without limbs evolution/biped eidolon. Both chose to gimp themselves rather than pick the instruments that make them more efficient.


Ral' Yareth wrote:
Cyberwolf2xs wrote:
Ral' Yareth wrote:
I try to imagine it like this: as you and your eidolon fuse, your relevant gear moves to the surface of your "suit" (your eidolon), which makes it readily available to use. Admittedly though that's just the way I imagine it.

Wait, I... no. Sorry, but no. I'm not going to imagine a mystical, say, a flying tentacle beast with a spell comp pouch and 50ft of rope slung around its... waist, or better, mid-body section, a magical headband around its... upper section and various other items strapped to its tentacles with some amount of duct tape. ;)

Quote:
It cripples you the same way you cripple yourself if you choose to be a spellslinger (gun mage) with no spells that qualify to be shot through his arcane gun. Is that poor design? I don't think so. You are deliberately choosing a path from the main class (a broader concept) that is not optimal to what that archetype (a narrower one) does.

That really is NOT an appropriate comparison.

An appropriate one would be a wildshape-focused druid without the natural spell feat.

I disagree that the comparisons was inappropriate, but I'll use yours:

a wildshape-focused druid without the natural spell feat = a synthesist without limbs evolution/biped eidolon. Both chose to gimp themselves rather than pick the instruments that make them more efficient.

A Druid's Wild Shape is just another class feature. The Summoner's Eidolon is the class' primary feature. A Druid can't stay in Wild Shape all day, but the Synthesist is meant to stay fused constantly.


Ral' Yareth wrote:

I disagree that the comparisons was inappropriate, but I'll use yours:

a wildshape-focused druid without the natural spell feat = a synthesist without limbs evolution/biped eidolon. Both chose to gimp themselves rather than pick the instruments that make them more efficient.

Sorry, I meant to say:

An appropriate one would be a wildshape-focused druid when there was no natural spell feat.

He would still have the choice to transform into a creature with hands (monkeys for example), which would be the same as a synthesist choosing a form with hands then.

PS: I'm somewhat scared that I find myself so completely on the same side of an argument as Cartigan. ;)


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Flying jellyfish with hands can be quite frightening.


Cartigan wrote:


A Druid's Wild Shape is just another class feature. The Summoner's Eidolon is the class' primary feature. A Druid can't stay in Wild Shape all day, but the Synthesist is meant to stay fused constantly.

Yes and no, really.

Right now there are (roughly speaking) two kinds of druids:
The shapeshifter and the caster. I'd say that wild shape is the main class feature of the first one.

Cyberwolf2xs wrote:


He would still have the choice to transform into a creature with hands (monkeys for example), which would be the same as a synthesist choosing a form with hands then.

In this case, said druid would still require the silence spell feat to cast spells, since monkeys can't speak.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Flying jellyfish with hands can be quite frightening.

Nice picture! Now I want a big jelly monster stat block to go along with it lol.


Ral' Yareth wrote:
Umbral Reaver wrote:
Flying jellyfish with hands can be quite frightening.
Nice picture! Now I want a big jelly monster stat block to go along with it lol.

Take a biped eidolon and say the legs and arms are twisted tendrils below the main mass. Add loads of tentacles and wingless flight.

If you mean a statblock for Emrakul itself, I think you'd need epic level rules. It's more or less a Lovecraftian god.


Umbral Reaver wrote:


If you mean a statblock for Emrakul itself, I think you'd need epic level rules. It's more or less a Lovecraftian god.

Already reading about it in wikipedia, so I can give it a shot

;)

"The Eldrazi are an ancient race native to the Blind Eternities (...). Their nature is ceaseless hunger, so they travel between planes devouring the mana and life energy until the plane’s destruction".

Seems cool

http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/article/Emrakul
http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/article/Eldrazi


Ral' Yareth wrote:
In this case, said druid would still require the silence spell feat to cast spells, since monkeys can't speak.

You're right on that one.

However, that would mean he'd have to cast all spells at +1 (still or silent) or +2 (both) spell levels, depending on the animal chosen. And more importantly, he'd have to prepare the spells he wants to use while in wild shape with the metamagic feats beforehand.

So what we have established is: a wild shape druid without natural spell would suck, or the other way round, without natural spell, no one would play a wild shape druid.
That is essentially the same in my case - as long as there is no equivalent feat (or the removal of the requirement of hands, as I reasoned earlier) for a summoner, I'm not playing a synthesist.
Since I am either crippled (no spellcasting) or silly looking with hands on a shark (and still be somewhat crippled, having to cast at +1 and with increased casting time) - and yes, I do think that Emrakul looks kind of silly, too :P


Cyberwolf2xs wrote:


So what we have established is: a wild shape druid without natural spell would suck, or the other way round, without natural spell, no one would play a wild shape druid.
That is essentially the same in my case - as long as there is no equivalent feat (or the removal of the requirement of hands, as I reasoned earlier) for a summoner, I'm not playing a synthesist.
Since I am either crippled (no spellcasting) or silly looking with hands on a shark (and still be somewhat crippled, having to cast at +1 and with increased casting time) - and yes, I do think that Emrakul looks kind of silly, too :P

We also have established that synthesist with a biped eidolon would work just fine right and would not need any natural spell kind of feat to work, right? He doesn't need the feat as much as the shape shifter druid, which would be utter garbage without it.

That's what I've been trying to say; that essentially the synthesist is a specialized summoner that works better with humanoids eidolons. The same way that a pistolero works better with a pair of pistols than with a musket.

That being said, I do agree that a shark with hands would look extremely silly.


Ral' Yareth wrote:


I agree. If you are unhappy with the official rules nothing stops you from running it differently at your table. I understand the desire to let the designers know what you like/don't like so they can take that into in consideration in the future, but I'm not really fond of the "torches and pitchforks" attitude.
..
I would not mind a feat, but honestly there is no need for it really. We already have two mechanical ways for casting spells on non-biped forms: evolution points and still spell. Plus, wouldn't having to pick a feat be perceived as a "class tax" as well? Is it really all about those 2 evolution points?
..
I'm starting to think that people really just want to play "the two weapon warrior fighter archetype who is also as awesome with the bow as the archer fighter archetype ".
..
I strongly disagree with your statement regarding the publisher being either lazy...

The attitude is something that is very common on the internet, I expect to see it.

The feat is pretty much a necessity, again it is poor design to block both casting and the "back up/emergency" button of summon monster when basing an archtype on a crippled version of the class' other main ability. And while it isn't "all about" those 2 evo points, I'd like to point out that is actually 2 feats worth of points and requires 5 levels of summoner to replace, because of how the feat works. Natural spell is 1 feat. It is a much "heavier" tax on an archtype that is already being limited heavily.

As for me, it is much more thematically ugly. If I'm playing a quad, it is because I'm looking for a certain theme or look. One that didn't have arms, or else I would have taken biped no? If I'm playing a biting/constricting serpent, I again probably don't want to have arms as that isn't the "theme" I was going for. JJ has already said he'd be okay with a feat, but to those shackled to RAW, it doesn't mean anything. Not writing up the feat or an ability, with the archtype having rather strict limitations, when it already exisits with a precedent, is either being lazy or being ignorant. I get that this archtype probably has taken up more time then they could have imagined at the onset, but saying you need to have arms to cast when there are already exceptions to the rule and not giving access to them (when in essence the druid does the same thing, wears a foam suit of a beast) is kind of, well, just wrong.

As I said, toss up a feat in the blog, refer to natural spell and wash their hands of it. It makes it official and still is a "tax" as it costs something.


Skylancer4 wrote:


The feat is pretty much a necessity...

As I said above, I'm not really against a feat. I was just questioning the necessity of it, since summoners are spontaneous casters and can apply the still spell feat on the fly (note the difference comparing it to the druid's case). On top of that if you don't think it will ruin your theme you can buy the limbs evolution. Not to mention that I'm pretty sure people would still consider it a class tax (abeit a cheaper one).

IMO, as it is written the synthesist is a specialized version of the summoner, who favors the biped shape. I don't really have a problem with that.

I do agree with you (again) that nothing is stopping any one from house ruling things. And to be honest I can understand why the archetype is frustrating for those who would like to "wear" an armless eidolon.

Skylancer4 wrote:


I'd like to point out that is actually 2 feats worth of points and requires 5 levels of summoner to replace...

Good point, but comparing the costs for 2 different classes might be a little more complicated than that. So while (I haven't really checked, so I'm just choosing to believe on you) a druid can pay a 1 feat tax and the synthesist a 2 feat tax, the transmuter wizard/beast-themed witch/etc don't have that option; There is no feat (other than the metamagic ones), no evolution option no anything for casting spells while morphed, in the last case.


Ral' Yareth wrote:

Already reading about it in wikipedia, so I can give it a shot

;)

"The Eldrazi are an ancient race native to the Blind Eternities (...). Their nature is ceaseless hunger, so they travel between planes devouring the mana and life energy until the plane’s destruction".

Seems cool

http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/article/Emrakul
http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/article/Eldrazi

I've started another thread for this so we don't have to spam this thread with it.

Link


Cartigan wrote:


What the hell is a Gun Mage?

"spellslinger (gun mage)" I was referring to the spellslinger archetype in UC.


Ral' Yareth wrote:

As I said above, I'm not really against a feat. I was just questioning the necessity of it, since summoners are spontaneous casters and can apply the still spell on the fly (note the difference comparing it to the druid's). On top of that if you don't think it will ruin your theme you can buy the limbs evolution.

IMO, as it is written the synthesist is a specialized version of the summoner, who favors the biped shape. I don't really have a problem with that.

I do agree with you (again) that nothing is stopping any one from house ruling things. And to be honest i can understand while the archetype is frustrating for those whowould like to "wear" a non limbed eidolon.

You mean the druid who can cast in their utility suit for a feat and still spontaneously cast an "Oh Cr@P" summon natures ally? Still spell significantly lowers then number of spells the summoner can cast as well as making the summoner more vulnerable (full round casts in the front lines, means more fizzled spells). The natural spell feat has a secondary action economy cost of what? Oh yeah, nothing.

Paizo is pushing the front line fighter type, they are comparing it to a barbarian. A Natural Spell like feat is a necessity for that type of character. The only reason it can remotely be considered a biped specialist is because of the hands requirement and that is pushing it. If it were truly the intention, they would have limited the base form, so I can't agree with your opinion as there isn't really a foundation for it. The game is biped centric, that doesn't mean the archtype is.

The problem with the house ruling is, people can't always house rule. Some people play RAW only for various reasons. PFS games for example. There should be an official rule to open up natural spell to synths or a feat made for them to accomplish the same effect.

Honestly I think a great deal of my unhappiness about Paizos rulings is that they seem to be FAQing things around PFS play. I know I don't care about organized play, I don't buy Pathfinder for organized play and I certainly don't want Pathfinder "balanced" around organized play. I buy the core books, I buy the adventure paths and the full adventures - that is what I want from the publisher. It should be the organized play documents ommitting or re-ruling for that LIMITED setting, not core books or supplements being gutted because of possible organized play issues. It is part of the reason I stop playing MMOs, things start getting homogenized between PvP and PvE. The two aren't the same, and trying to make them work together can ruin the game. PFRPG and PFS may not be as drastic as that, but it can definitely sour good design ideas and concepts, as in the case of the synth archtype.


Skylancer4 wrote:


The only reason it can remotely be considered a biped specialist is because of the hands requirement and that is pushing it. If it were truly the intention, they would have limited the base form, so I can't agree with your opinion as there isn't really a foundation for it. The game is biped centric, that doesn't mean the archtype is. care about...

Suffice to say we disagree here. Doesn't seem like we'll be able to change each other's opinions on this so I'll just leave it be.

Skylancer4 wrote:
It should be the organized play documents ommitting or re-ruling for that LIMITED setting, not core books or supplements being gutted because of possible organized play issues.

I actually agree with this specific part.

The Exchange

So do I get to rebuild my PFS Synth Summoner now? These rulings have changed the way I perceived the class enough to the point that I don't want to continue playing it.

You know, I was fine with the restriction of what spells heal the eidolon. I could live with that and thought that was fair. But needing to have an arms evolution to cast spells is the final straw. Every base form minus the bipedal form further taxed into having the required arms evolution if you ever want to heal your eidolon.

In PFS, I can conceivably (and it is not outside the realm of possibility - in fact is almost guaranteed) get stuck with folks who can't cast spells to heal my eidolon. And if I don't have the arms evolution, I can't heal my eidolon. So I basically have to blow my money on potions of rejuvenate eidolon and have someone force feed it to me. If I don't, I'm basically up s#!t's creek at lower levels if I don't tax myself early on getting a specific evolution (never mind the healing tax).

This also pisses me off because I don't want a 6 limbed character for my quadruped. It wasn't part of my design for the character because I thought you could still cast spells while in this magical skin. But guess not now.

This effectively makes this character dead to me in PFS, which is sad because I was really looking forward to playing this character out.

/Thank god the majority of credits to this summoner is GM credit
//I'm going to request these credits get moved
///I'm going to throw his character sheet in the trash.
////This really pisses me off.


Ral' Yareth wrote:
Cartigan wrote:


What the hell is a Gun Mage?
"spellslinger (gun mage)" I was referring to the spellslinger archetype in UC.

Then what does this even mean?

Quote:
It cripples you the same way you cripple yourself if you choose to be a spellslinger (gun mage) with no spells that qualify to be shot through his arcane gun. Is that poor design? I don't think so. You are deliberately choosing a path from the main class (a broader concept) that is not optimal to what that archetype (a narrower one) does.

Making an active choice not to use your class abilities is different from being forced to make a choice to not have half of your class abilities disabled. The Spellslinger is designed to shoot spells. That's why you would take the archetype. You know exactly what you are getting into when you choose the archetype. As opposed to going Synthesist then learning you have to build your Eidolon a specific way in order to be able to use your spells at all.

If the point of the Synthesist was to be Goro from Mortal Kombat, that would be one thing, but it isn't.


Brandon Hodge wrote:


I'm one of those "phantom people," and I'm not sure how myself and others on this thread who are exceptions to this comment suddenly found themselves invisible. You'll see upthread other players actively playing this class (and another, Ral'Yareth, above) that don't have the problems that the rest of you armchair critics seem to have.

Just to correct brandon here. He is quite wrong when he says that all the people who are unhappy with how the class works are just armchair critics. I have actually played the class. With house rules and without. I don't buy the online pdf's just to have them. If I become focused on a class, its because I am playing it.

For my synthesist there have been several issues where I have to follow required patterns because of raw limitations:
1. I have to select rejuvenate eidolon as a spell known early on.(that is 1 of my 2 only 1st lvl spells known at 1st lvl). For a spontaneous caster class to forced into taking a specific spell just to heal themselves have major impact at low lvls.
2. If you can somehow wait until lvl 2 or 3 for healing, you can possibly buy a wand of rejuvenate eidolon instead of using up 1 of your few spells known. But that requires a relatively friendly dm. IE, how many magic marts are definitely going to have a wand that only heals 1 classes pet? So if that doesn't exist, I have to make the wand. (See how clumsy this has become for me already?)
3. If we go down the list of things a synthesist has to have to fully use his class it is pretty impressive. A spell known, access to someone who can make him wands of rejuvenate eidolon, hands(or no spellcasting).

There is more I would post about but lunch calls.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Caedwyr wrote:
Is this the point in the thread where Sean starts calling people he disagrees with intellectually dishonest and accuses them of arguing in bad faith, while other posters are allowed to dogpile on those who have a differing opinion and call them asshats, with no sanctions from the moderators?

Too late for that.

A quote in this thread from Sean:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Again, this is one of the increasingly common board discussions where you know how something should work, and you're deliberately acting like you don't know that just so you can prove a point that the rules are "unclear," in that they aren't thousands of pages long that explain every possible permutation of possibility.

You understand how the rules should work.

I don't talk to you like you don't understand how the rules should work.

Why are you presenting an argument as if you don't understand how the rules should work?

Fozbek wrote:

By the way, this entire debate could be resolved simply:

"Fused Eidolon: ... Damage dealt to the synthesist is applied to the eidolon's hit points. When the eidolon's hit points reach 0, it is sent back to its home plane as if it was slain. ...
Fused Link: ... Whenever his eidolon's hit points would be reduced to 0, ..."

This. This. A THOUSAND TIMES THIS. It is a simple, elegant solution that is easy to understand.

Why have some of the developers gone from being a helpful presence on the boards to being dismissive of the ideas and concerns (both good and bad) of their patrons? I understand that they can't answer ALL the questions or address ALL the concerns, but that's no reason for a professional to resort to this kind of behavior against his very own patrons.

The following reposted as it seems to have been overlooked:

Ravingdork wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Yes, but that still doesn't answer my question: Knowing that, how is it also possible for the synthesist to use HIS OWN natural weapons (which are almost always on the end of limbs)?
Yep, it's weird. From what I recall of the discussion, it's there for (1) synthesists who want to wield a weapon in the eidolon's hand, or (2) synthesists who have natural attacks, probably unarmed strikes, and want to make those attacks using the eidolon's limbs, because their natural attack damage is higher than the eidolon's base damage for that limb. I, too, think it would be weird for a lizardfolk (who has claws and a bite) to make claw and bite attacks while inside a humanlike eidolon (unarmed strikes would be OK), but we've had enough cries of "you're nerfing my options" for this archetype that I suppose we threw them a bone. Note that the eidolon has to have enough limbs to account for the natural attacks being used. No arms = no natural attacks. At no point are we suggesting that the synthesist is reaching OUT of the eidolon's body to make these attacks... he's using the limbs of the eidolon.

That's...weird...

So if my character has natural attacks, it is assumed my eidolon can also make those SAME natural attacks PROVIDED he has the appropriate limbs for them (arms for claws, head for bite, etc.)?

What if my eidolon and I are different sizes? If I'm attacking with MY natural attacks, but my eidolon shell is huge, does my own natural attack get adjusted up two size categories for the purposes of damage? Or are they still treated as medium?

Trying to picture how this even works while INSIDE the shell is mind boggling. I guess the eidolon shell simply takes on some of the attributes of its controller?

Also, say I'm a tengu and have two natural claw attacks. I put on my eidolon shell, which is humanoid and ALSO has two claw attacks. Do I now have 4 claw attacks (provided it isn't over my maximum number of attacks) or only 2? This question assumes only two arm limbs.

Also, thank you SO much for your patience. I know I can be trying at times.

Contributor

thepuregamer wrote:
Brandon Hodge wrote:


I'm one of those "phantom people," and I'm not sure how myself and others on this thread who are exceptions to this comment suddenly found themselves invisible. You'll see upthread other players actively playing this class (and another, Ral'Yareth, above) that don't have the problems that the rest of you armchair critics seem to have.
Just to correct brandon here. He is quite wrong when he says that all the people who are unhappy with how the class works are just armchair critics.

Then I hope you won't mind me correcting you in turn, TPG. My statement is far from "quite wrong," and you might give it another read, because I didn't make an absolute statement. Nowhere in my post do I maintain that ALL the unhappy folks in this thread are armchair critics. All I'm stating is that there are some folks, several in this thread (as defined by "myself and others"), even, that are playing the class and not having these problems, in response to another poster claiming that ANY players happy with this class are "phantom people" that didn't exist.

It was a simple clarification of another poster's absolute, and definitely incorrect, statement.

So, I'm correcting your correction of my correction of another poster, who was trying to correct SKR, who was correcting the class. =-)

That being said, some of the most vocal folks in this thread aren't playing the class.

Contributor

thepuregamer wrote:

For my synthesist there have been several issues where I have to follow required patterns because of raw limitations:

1. I have to select rejuvenate eidolon as a spell known early on.(that is 1 of my 2 only 1st lvl spells known at 1st lvl). For a spontaneous caster class to forced into taking a specific spell just to heal themselves have major impact at low lvls.
2. If you can somehow wait until lvl 2 or 3 for healing, you can possibly buy a wand of rejuvenate eidolon instead of using up 1 of your few spells known. But that requires a relatively friendly dm. IE, how many magic marts are definitely going to have a wand that only heals 1 classes pet? So if that doesn't exist, I have to make the wand. (See how clumsy this has become for me already?)
3. If we go down the list of things a synthesist has to have to fully use his class it is pretty impressive. A spell known, access to someone who can make him wands of rejuvenate eidolon, hands(or no spellcasting).

I , too, faced these problems as a PC, but managed to make it through. I don't necessarily disagree with the criticisms here, but at the same time I saw a very clear path on how to handle it in my game. I bought some potions of lesser rejuvenate eidolon to see me through until I could handle the healing myself. Yeah, that is a bit of a spell tax, but I'd rather have my healing in my own hands, anyway, and the potion investment wasn't too pricey.

As for the hands-for-spellcasting debate, I agree with the rules call, but also agree with the frustration, but don't really want to wade into the fray. Mostly, I'm trying to keep folks reasonable. What bothers me in debates like this, sometimes, even more than the unnecessary aggressiveness, is when posters create entirely improbable situations and class selections that prove that the class is "broken," when any reasonable person would work around the limitation. I'm not implying you did that, but there's been a lot of it on this thread.

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